April 2009 Archives

So I have this running joke where I like to tell the kids I'm going to trade them in on monkeys.  As in, "Let's go to the zoo, so I can trade you guys in on a couple of monkeys?" Or, more recently, after the circus...

Hey, did you see those cute little monkeys.  There were four of them.  I bet I could get a good trade for you guys.
Karenna: No you wouldn't.
Me: I could probably get like two monkeys per kid by weight.
Chris: Monkeys are pretty smart. Maybe you would have to trade in two kids for one monkey.
Me: I thought I'd have to exchange by weight.
Karenna: You can't trade me!

Later this week...

Me: You know I could still trade you in on a monkey if you don't listen.
Karenna: And I could trade you in a gorilla!

I was up late folding laundry last night and I heard a kid get out of bed.

I figured that it had to be Jude.

Typically if someone gets out of bed and comes to the living rooms, it's Jude coming to ask why he still has to sleep, how many more times in his life he has to sleep, or if I will come back to his room with him.

Nope. Karenna came out, walked right past me and down the first set up steps on our split entry.  Then I realized she opened our front door.

"What are you doing?" I asked her.

"I have to go to the bathroom," she told me.

"That's not the bathroom." I realized she was sleepwalking right out my front door.

After I got her safely back to her room, I settled into my room and found a battery on the floor.

I picked it up and found teeth-marks, "Jude!"

Sometimes, communicating with a preschooler can be a challenge...

Jude: Today, Miss Karen brought in cheese. It was in her suitcase and she put it in her coffee cup and had a drink and...
Me: Jude, Mommy doesn't quite get what you're saying, buddy.  I think you may be telling a tall tale.
Jude: You mean like this? [He stands up tall in his chair.]
Karenna: No, Mommy means you are stretching the truth.
Jude (feeling his mouth): Stretching the tooth?

When did I get a kid who keeps a chapter book in her desk at school to read when she finishes her schoolwork?  When did I get a kid who reads to me from a book by looking up a story in the Table of Contents? Where did my baby go? Sigh.

We took my kids (Karenna and Jude) plus my cousin's two girls to the circus.  The older girl liked the animal acts.  The younger one liked the female acrobats.  There was also a man who pretended the real acrobats were not there and clowned around on the trampoline until he finally did some fancy flips.  Here are my observations:

  1. Once Jude is more of a handful than the three girls combined (and one of them is still in diapers).
  2. For example, he took off his shirt outside in the rain and ran around in the parking lot.
  3. Things you have to say at dinner with kids 5 & under include: "We don't show each other our underpants at the dinner table."
  4. Karenna is getting good at tricking people.
  5. Leave it to her dad to teach her this.  When they went to pick up a pizza and the girls wanted soda, he told Karenna's cousin. "No we have water at home. We get it out of the toilet."  Karenna, totally serious, said, "Yeah, we do."
  6. She has equally mastered detecting when someone is tricking her.  "That guy on the trampoline was really an acrobat," she told us later.

Chris was making bagels tonight when Jude asked if he could help.

Chris: I don't know, buddy. I'd kind of hard.
Jude: Please.
Chris: You're not a baker.  This kind of work is for bakers.
Jude: Yes I am a baker!
Chris: Well, then what's name of your bakery?
Jude (proudly, as if ready to announce a grand opening): Jude's Kitchen Floor!

At that point he couldn't resist teaching Jude how to make a bagel, even though it ended up becoming more of a play-doh project that a baking project.

Epilogue:  Later, as Chris was distracted with getting the other bagels prepared, Jude had pushed a pile of flour past his "bagel" and onto the floor.  Now we know his bakery is aptly named.

Karenna is on the threshold of seeing through the whole Santa/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy/Lottery Fairy1 charade.

Right before we got our Easter pictures taken she nearly broke my heart--or at least momentarily took my breath away--by telling me the Easter bunny was just a man in a suit.

"What do you mean?" I pretended to play dumb. I always knew the Easter Bunny was the weak link in the bunch.  A man in a red suit was believable, but the bunny suit does look kind of fake.

"It's a guy in a suit," she said.  "Bunnies aren't as tall as people."

I then explained the helper concept.  A man in a suit helps the Easter Bunny fill orders.  I also said the Easter Bunny is a large breed bunny, like there are large and small breed dogs.  She looked at me incredulously.  I tried to rattle off large rabbit movies as examples like Harvey and Donnie Darko, but the only one a kid would have seen is Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

When she and he brother got to the mall, they sat on the bunny's lap.  Jude loved the bunny.  He touched his glasses.  He pet the bunny and hugged him.  As we left, Karenna attempted to wink a very obvious wink at me and then whispered, "His glasses were very fake."

Fast-forward to tonight at bedtime: Karenna told me about this friend of hers who said the Easter bunny lives at his house. And another friend who has a kid in his class that said the Easter bunny wasn't real; it was the parents who get the toys and candy.

"Well that's silly," I said. I asked her when I would have had time to do all that shopping.  Then I continued, "Also, who would go hide the eggs in our yard in the dark?  Do you think Mommy would do that in the cold in her jammies?2 I want to be in a warm bed asleep when the bunny comes."

Karenna agreed, "Yeah, and Daddy wouldn't be out there in in his underpants..."

  1. What, your family doesn't have a Lottery Fairy? While my kindergartner might not believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy for much longer, members of the gambling contingent of my family (many years her senior) believe in a ficticious being they call the Lottery Fairy.  The Lottery Fairy does bestow occasional blessings upon the Massaros, but I'm not an expert on how much goes "under the pillow" so to speak to the Lottery Fairy until she pays out.
  2. Yes, Mommy would. She has.  In the snow. I had pictures and a cold to prove it. 

It was Jude's Easter party day.  When he came home he had a basket full of candy-filled plastic eggs. He was well behaved today as well (even after we had to let him down easy about his Easter party day not being the same thing as his birthday), so instead of going with me to the grocery store while Karenna had ballet, he asked if he could spend time at his grandparents' house.  I called them up, dropped him off and went shopping on my own.

When I picked him up, it was nearly bed time.  He threw a bit of a tantrum about leaving and a bit of another one when he found out that upon going home there would be no time to watch one of his movies.

"But tomorrow," I told him, trying to offer a consolation, "we get to color your Easter eggs."

"No," he said, extremely agitated, "You will ruin them!"

"Oh, no, sweetie. Don't you remember the Easter egg colors and stickers I showed you?  With the Hulk stickers and the colored water you dip your eggs into?"

"No, Mommy! You can't put my eggs in that. It will be a disaster. I am telling you. Believe me.  That's disgusting."

I was pretty sure he was near tears or a toddler breakdown of some sort.  Then something occurred to me...

"Jude... when I say 'color your Easter eggs', I don't mean your eggs that you got from your party. They are already colored.  We are going to take the white eggs I just bought at the store and color them."

Karenna's been doing art with her brother.  First, she traced his hand and wrote his name in it...


Then she taught him how to draw a dog. (Karenna's is on the top.  Jude's is on the bottom.) She patiently took him step-by-step through drawing it:


Jude likes to draw scarecrows and spider people.  They look like this...


Not backwards, not out of order, not upside-down. It looks like someone has got the hang of J-U-D-E:


My kids are like Hobbits.  Chris and I make them a first breakfast--a treat to get them moving in the morning--and they eat a second breakfast in school.   (They are surprisingly skinny.)

This week Chris made homemade chocolate chip bagels.  I toasted a bagel, buttered it.  As I was buttering the bagel, I heard I waist high person pipe up, "You're not supposed to butter the bagel."

"You ate it that way before.  That's the way we always do it," I explained to him.

He ignored me and walked away as I cut a bagel in half, wrapped each half up, and packed it up to distribute to each little person.

But that was on the end of the issue...

"Hey mom, you're not supposed to put butter on this bagel."

"Yes, you are Jude," I told him, "We always toast and butter the chocolate chip kind when we have them."

He wasn't about to let the matter drop this time, "That's not what the instructions say. They say, 'No butter.'"

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